Two ceiling fans blow at high-speed while Martha, wearing a funereal hat, stands at the entrance of a restaurant. She walks down the steps and into the dining room, looking at the stacked chairs on top of the tables.
She reaches the counter and the bartender has a drink ready for her. She turns and faces the dining room, now full of people talking and eating. A young man stops by a plant and pauses once he notices Martha.
At a table, a businessman smokes his cigarette. She walks towards door and the young man darts in front of her, forcing her to kiss him. She shoves him off while the women comment and whisper to one another. In the lobby, she takes off her hat and shakes her hair loose.
A small orchestra plays inside the restaurant. As they play, their sheet music falls to the floor. A man knocks over his table and the drink spills.
The dining room is vacant again. She talks to the bartender, one hand on her drink the other lowering her cigarette and then leaves. The bartender salutes her. She sprawls out on the table, her eyes closed.
Martha, dressed in a funereal dress, returns to restaurant where she went on her first date. His name was Rick and he was a grade ahead of her. He fumbled the words as he gave his order and scrounged in his wallet for his parents’ credit card. On the way home, he asked her out again and gave her a kiss on the cheek. They dated for a year. He was a sweet young man who helped her study and listened to her rants about unfair teachers.
However, by college, their relationship had ended. She had moved on to several young men, none of whom understood manners and simply expected her to undress. She studied teaching and became a third grade teacher. While getting her Master’s, she met a polite man who later asked her to marry him at graduation.
She chose the restaurant to celebrate her achievement. The clientele had become highbrow and exclusive since. In the corner table, she could still see herself as a fifteen-year-old girl struggling to make conversation with the boy from her science class.
As a stay-at-home mother, she drives into town several days in a row and visits the restaurant. The young host forces himself on her, familiar with her after numerous conversation. She rushes out, hand over her mouth, her quiet memories violated. She avoids her husband once he comes home, sloshed and bitter from the unwritten words that he cannot write.
Director: Russell Mulcahy Year: 1982
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.